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“How do evictions (membership terminations) work?”

"I am worried I might be forced to leave my co-op."

If you are concerned you won’t be able pay your housing charges, get in touch with the co-op board or management company. Sometimes it’s possible to make payment arrangements that will avoid trouble. Sometimes there may be security of tenure funds to help.

If the co-op board has grounds, they may send you a notice of membership termination. The notice will say why the co-op is acting. It may be:

  • because you didn’t pay money (e.g. housing charges) that you owed the co-operative,
    (see Rule 5.1 [b] and your Occupancy Agreement sections 4.05 to 4.07)
  • because of a “breach of the occupancy agreement”, or
  • because of “conduct detrimental to the Co-op”.

Conduct detrimental can include damaging (or threatening to damage) co-op property, causing violence, threatening people, and other behaviours.

Understand the reasons for your notice of termination. Check Rule 5. It provides you with a lot of information regarding the process of membership termination. It also sets out the steps that the co-op must follow.

Please note: CHF BC cannot provide legal advice or speak on behalf of a co-op member. Remember that housing co-ops are not covered by the Residential Tenancy Act. Instead, they are incorporated under the provincial Cooperative Association Act. You and the co-op must follow the Act and your co-op’s Rules, Occupancy Agreement and policies. The co-op must follow proper procedures and have grounds for your termination.

If you don’t understand the documents or think the co-op is acting unfairly, you should get legal advice. Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) will provide free legal advice to a co-op member facing membership termination. Other places you may find free legal guidance are Access Pro Bono and Legal Aid BC.